Islamabad—The first Hajj flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) PK-2503, carrying 328 intending pilgrims, left for Saudia Arabia here Thursday.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf saw off the first batch of pilgrims at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, advising them to follow discipline and laws of the host country to avoid any inconvenience during their stay there.
“Each and every Pakistani pilgrim, being ambassador of Pakistan, has the responsibility to take care of their country’s prestige and respect by exhibiting greater patience and tolerance during their stay in Saudi Arabia,” he said. The minister said the government had made extensive arrangements to make the pilgrimage easy, comfortable and inexpensive. He said main control rooms had been established in Makkah and Madina to extend maximum facilities to Pakistani pilgrims.
Sardar Yousaf urged the intending pilgrims to immediately contact the control room, in case of any problem, as a good number of doctors, paramedical staff and Hajj ‘Mouavineen’ (Assistants) have been deployed to facilitate them.
He also asked the pilgrims for offering special prayers for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan while performing Hajj rituals at the holy land.
A month-long pre Hajj flight operation that started on August 4 would continue till September 5.
Under the operation, PIA will operate around 265 special Hajj flights from ten cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sukkur, Multan and Rahim Yar Khan to transport the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
This year, as many as 1,43,000 pilgrims are going to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj under both the government and private schemes according to data of the ministry of Religious Affairs.